The good news is that my right thigh pain has gradually gone away. My left knee and right thigh still have some soreness/stiffness, but an amount that feels much more normal and not like I’m on the verge of an injury. And now the taper starts, so it will only get better! Running the dirt roads on the right must have helped my legs accomodate to the road camber.
Everything’s been piling up and I’m way behind on most things in my life. In the back of my mind I had the idea that training for the marathon would help me stay on top of other things, because of people quoted in NRMT who said how much it helped their time management. Well, not me. Oh well! I made a few notes after each run even though I didn’t have time to actually write them up, so here’s what I remember:
Short run, 5 miles, 53:50; splits 11:04, 10:17, 10:11, 11:52, 10:27.
Lovely clear golden sunrise. Rounding Stanley Lake, I heard a polite coughing sound behind me; it was the old grizzled black lab I’d seen with the younger dog the other day, by himself this time. I enjoyed making a fuss over him!
Medium run, 8 miles, 1:26:48; splits 10:26, 11:58, 11:26, 10:09, 9:36, 10:54, 10:52, 11:27.
A little foggy/hazy. I was very pleased by the 9:36 pace; I had been dissasociating but thinking about something energizing (the night before there was a League of Women Voters presentation on low voter registration/turnout and I was thinking about putting a classified in the local papershop (which I did!)). On the Stanley Lake road there was a guy petting his golden retriever, which came running up to me with a softball in its mouth but barking anyway!
Short run, 5 miles, 53:30; splits 10:43, 10:12, 10:38, 11:19, 10:36.
Oops! My splits have been wrong–I’ve been putting in my *average* time for the mile instead of the actual time (two different places on the display). But usually that’s the same, except for example mile 4 which the Forerunner overestimated. Interesting.
Heavy rain, the tail end of Hurricane Ivan. I had to run in the afternoon because of a legislative breakfast we held at the library; the good running-related news was that I fit into a suit I love but haven’t been able to wear in a long time! Part-way through the run, I thought of aiming for sub-11 minute miles, I didn’t quite make it, but it’s still a huge improvement over my 5-mile (actually 4.8 mile) times before I started training.
long run, 18 miles, 3:26; no splits data, but the first section (mostly downhilll) must have been about 10 minute miles.
MILES FOR THE WEEK: 36 (5/8/5/18) Week 13 of training
Weight: about 116
AAACK! My Forerunner broke! We spent the weekend in Rochester visiting my mother-in-law (which was nice, and a chance to sleep in a bit two days in a row–thank you, Marcia), but left early enough Sunday so I’d be sure to complete my 18 miles before dark. I didn’t want a repeat of the afternoon 16-miler.
So I’m ready to leave at 3:45, and the Forerunner won’t respond to buttons. It turned on, it captured the satellite signals, but it won’t start the timer or switch modes or even turn off! I’m frantic–the thought of running without it at this point is like running in cotton clothes or something. How will I know when to drink my Gatorade? How will I be able to pace myself through 18 miles?
I came back inside and tried everything I could think of: couldn’t do a hard reset, but did re-install the firmware, googled, checked the Garmin site and the Yahoo group. No go. I found out how to turn it off (hold the reset and power buttons simultaneously), but nothing.
[I called Garmin the next day and they said the button pad had shorted out when it got wet on Friday. It’s supposed to be water-resistant but as it turns out many other people have had their units die under similar circumstances. I shipped it back and hope hope hope it will be returned before the marathon!]
Ok, fallback plan (and why am I so dependent on the stupid Forerunner anyway? this is not good!): my heart rate monitor, which I haven’t used in weeks. I had finally gotten the watch back from the Blueberry Festival kids’ games. But I couldn’t find the watch! I went tearing through the house realizing how messy and chaotic everything had gotten while there’s been so much going on. I was already upset about the Forerunner but trying to keep my cool–I knew running 18 miles would be hard enough. Now I was yet more upset that I couldn’t even use my HRM, plus mad at myself and discouraged by the mess. By nature I’m a messy and disorganized person; I’ve been struggling with myself as long as I can remember. I’ve gradually, very gradually been getting somewhat better, but it doesn’t take much to knock me off the path. (The only thing that’s ever really helped me, aside from the beneficial effects of aging, is the FlyLady system, but even that I’ve not been able to really stick with, although hope springs eternal). So as I was frantically pawing through mounds of papers I should have dealt with, items I should have put away, and general junk, I was trying to think “I’m a marathoner, I can be flexible and adaptable and keep a positive attitude” to fight the overwhelming “waaah! I’m almost 40 and my life is a still a mess!” catastrophizing. And of course, time is ticking by and I have to leave or I’ll be running after dark again!
Jonathan offered me his travel alarm and finally I realized that was my best bet. It was past 4:30 by the time I left, but I did get into a positive frame of mind. I used the little alarm’s snooze feature to add up to 24 minutes (3 8-minute periods) and used that to time my fluid intake and to pace myself. Psychologically it was helpful to know that I was bound to be ahead of the timepiece since I’ve consistenly been running closer to 11-minute miles than 12. The run was uneventful–hard, 18 miles is bound to be for me, but not too hard. I thought I might hit the wall since I was just using Gatorade, not breaking with a gel like I did last week, but I didn’t (a good sign, I hope!) The evening was beautiful, not too hot, and although it was dark by the time I got home, the sunset was lovely. I met a border collie at the farm on Kinney Road, who lay down and practically rolled on his back to show how unthreatening he was. I found 2 new wildflowers I haven’t been able to identify yet; one must be some kind of very showy goldenrod.
I was proud of myself when I got back, and very pleased to have finished the last long run before the marathon! Wow!
Short run, 5 miles. A little weird not to know my time, but I don’t really care at this point, since my taper begins this week. My body doesn’t know it yet (since weekday runs are the same as the high-mileage weeks), but psychologically it makes a huge difference.
Medium run, 8 miles; another beautiful morning. It’s been perfect fall weather and the leaves are turning nicely. Columbus Day weekend is usually leaf peak around here, although of course I’ll be running further south so it won’t be quite as colorful there.
Short run, 5 miles. Very foggy in places, almost clear in others, so I kept running in and out of the mist.